By now it is possible to identify many auxiliary groups fighting on the side of the Syrian government and the various specific entities with which they are affiliated. Other auxiliary groups, however, seem to have no affiliation at all. The Laith Group (Majmu'at Laith) is one such example.
The group is led by one who calls himself "Laith al-Jabal" ("Lion of the Mountain"), who was born in 1981 and is originally from the Jabal al-Sheikh area but resides in the predominantly Druze province of Suwayda'. He first set up his group in 2013 in the Saka area of the Damascus countryside in order to act as an auxiliary for the Syrian Army. Laith says he has recruited fighters from all sects, and that his group has fought in many areas, including:
- East Ghouta
- al-Qusayr in Homs
- Aleppo countryside and Aleppo
- Deir az-Zor (incl. al-Mayadeen and Albukamal).
Meanwhile, the current expectation is to participate in the fight for Idlib.
As he puts it, "Our aim is to liberate Syria from the filth of terrorism and destroy it entirely." Laith says that his group is an "auxiliary for the Syrian Arab Army" only, and is not affiliated with any particular entity. His group, therefore, does not receive salaries. In total, the group has lost 9 fighters during the course of its existence, one of the 'martyrs' being Laith's brother, who was killed in the al-Zabadani area. In fact, according to Laith, his family has lost 3 'martyrs' during the war.
Laith was also keen to emphasize to me his pride in Hezbollah's role in Syria: "I am totally proud of the presence of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance Hezbollah...I am proud of the his eminence Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, for he is my highest example."
Below are some photos of the Laith Group.